Kloutism — the systemized use of social media influence scoring to discriminate.

This week Involver released a Facebook application that enables dynamic offers based on your Klout score. Klout offers Klout Perks, coupons and benefits based on your Klout score. The Palms hotel in Las Vegas is using your Klout score to offer up special amenities, and may even be a factor in whether or not you can get a reservation. There are also rumors of organizations using social media indexes to determine what level of service or support you receive.

Getting special treatment is nothing new, many companies have maintained customer value scores for years, but these scores were always heavily waited against actual sales. PR departments have also given special access to journalists, VIPs, celebrities and other influencers. The difference here is systems like Klout,  Empire Avenue and more traditional social media measurement tools with APIs allow you to scale influence scoring to your entire customer base.

As a marketer, I love this. It is the missing piece in target marketing. I could always target by demographic, now I can target by influence. As a social media practitioner, with a moderate amount of influence, I love getting invited to Yelp VIP parties and sneak previews of new restaurants and the latest web startup.

But as a consumer, it deepens the divide of the have and have-nots. Social influence scores are not perfect. They are built on very limited data sets. Klout states that I am an expert on cookies. I like cookies, if someone offers me a free cookie, I won’t turn it away. But I wouldn’t consider myself anymore of an expert than any other slightly overweight geek.

Using social ranking also incents people to participate in gratuitous social media chatter. Will people start tweeting more about Las Vegas and hotels, just to raise the likelihood of getting an upgrade next time they visit the Palms? I’d love to see more social media participation, but I’m not sure we need more social media noise.

Now please excuse me while I go post about cookies.



  1. Thanks for the mention Kevin. I think you’re onto something generally when you talk about ‘this’ as a missing piece in targeted marketing. In fact, i see ‘this’ as the first step in realizing the promise of Facebook (from a marketer’s perspective). What do i mean by that? Most specifically, this is about practical customization and personalization… It isn’t just about what you give people however. One of our favorite scenarios is to imagine being able to use an influence score such as Klout to identify that a fan is new (or less savvy influential) on Facebook and twitter and then deliver them a product demo more tailored to their skills. The reality is that the scenarios for application are limitless.

  2. Great comment Jascha – I think there is a lot of potential in reaching new auedinces and finding new ways to engage with a deep understanding of someone’s behavior based on what’s in their social graph. What I’m cautious about is the random application of dynamic offers based on score that may or may not be relevant to the offer. All tools can be used well or poorly. I hope fellow marketers use this one appropriately.

  3. Heavily WEIGHTED

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